From left UNFPA ‘s U. Muller, Anthonia Ekpa PhD, HM, Dame Pauline Tallen Exe Director of UNAIDS, HM ( Budget &Finance)
As Nigeria joins other countries of the world to mark the International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, 2021, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has called for all hands to be on deck to ensure women’s empowerment in the country.
The IWD 2021 set aside to celebrate the contributions of Women to National Development has the theme, “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World.” #ichoosetochallenge.
Speaking at a press briefing to mark the day, Dame Tallen noted that the Agenda of the current Government is to push towards synergizing development initiatives, especially aimed at supporting Women towards the reduction of poverty.
She further recalled her earlier promise that the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs will institute an Annual Forum to celebrate women living and those who have gone before us.
According to her “We should not wait until moments such as death before we stop to recognize our various qualities and values. This also calls to mind the need to advocate for a special Month in the Nigerian Calendar to dedicate it as Nigerian Women History Month.
“Working with my Permanent Secretary, we will work out the modalities and together we will put in place measures to move these initiatives beyond just talk”, she said.
Furthermore, she stressed on the need for Data, which she said was key. “Without Data, we cannot talk of milestones; our planning processes will be defective, our policy goal will be defeated, and our implementation level will become immeasurable as we will lack facts to work with.
“Therefore, Data must be at the heart of any programme design and implementation of COVID-19 recovery. This is why, I am happy to announce that the recently launched Situation Data Room supported by UNDP and Population Council is improving the quality of Data on Gender-Based Violence in the country.
“In this regard, we shall redirect our attention to increased Data Generation and Management in achieving an equal future in a COVID19 World. We can start small by adopting the qualitative data approach, which is descriptive and can be observed”.
She also called on all women organizations in the country to submit a comprehensive profile of their members to give the Ministry an idea of the existing women professional and non-professional groups in the country.
While noting that despite past efforts of the government at integrating the women’s questions into the National Development Agenda, gender inequalities remain pervasive within most Nigerian spaces, she emphasized the need for all hands to be on deck with a view to ensure women’s empowerment in the country.
“Permit me to state here that on the Agenda of the current Government is the push towards synergizing development initiatives, especially aimed at supporting Women towards the reduction of poverty.
“However, one that requires more attention, but which has witnessed gaps in cohesion and synergizing efforts is that of gender, which is a social construct focusing on the deprivation and marginalization of certain groups of persons on the basis of being male or female.
“It is my hope that the National Gender Policy being reviewed would help articulate how to balance power relations between men and women to transform the institutions which continue to perpetrate gender injustice, poverty, and underdevelopment in our society”, she said.